In the late Summer of 2009, the "Station Fire" burned a huge area in the Angeles National Forest. Several months after the fire was finally extinguished, the roads have finally been repaired to the point where they have been opened to public traffic. Here are some images of the scene as it appeared on a weekend foray into that area.
Clean-up burn-off activity from another camera angle 9/11-14.
Clean-up burn-off activity 9/10-11.
A short clean-up burn running from about 9/9/09 18:50 to 9/10/09 02:50.
(updated) The Towercam is back and pointing toward the Hooker Telescope dome. Here's a time lapse from Sep 4 through morning Sep 9. This may be the final installment, as the active sections of the fire are now quite distant from the Observatory. I'll continue to collect images for a while though in case something interesting does happen.
This short time-lapse video was assembled from images captured from the UCLA Towercam atop the solar observatory tower at the Mt. Wilson observatory. It ends when the Towercam dropped offline as a result of fire damage to a communication conduit. The camera has since returned to service.
This is likely to be the final update to this segment as the camera has ceased updating. Speculation is that the fire has burned the telecom facilities that provide internet connectivity to the Observatory. The good news is that the fires in question are backfires set by firefighters. There is reason for cautious optimism that the Observatory will survive this ordeal.
Driving up Angeles Crest Highway in the aftermath of the fire
The roads are closed and an eerie calm pervades the scene. Brush and trees are blackened or just completely gone. Wooden road signs and the posts that once held roadside guard rails are in places completely gone, leaving the metal rail just sitting on the ground. This post-apocalyptic scene continues for miles and miles of road. I did not shoot this video and have not yet seen this place for myself but when it is accessible, I will have to head up there and capture my own photographs.
Seen from a commercial flight leaving the San Fernando Valley, the smoke plume from the Jesusita Fire in Santa Barbara doesn't look all that large. It's barely visible in the MODIS satellite imagery (see links below). But it's concentrated in a built-up hillside residential area that hadn't burned in a very long time. Whipped by strong winds, the fire has destroyed many very lovely homes. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has sustained fire damage as well.
Satellite Image Courtesy of NASA MODIS Click image to enlarge
The Hearst Castle is located on a coastal mountain high above the San Simeon area in California. Several different tours are available. A bus ride along a windy road from the Visitor center takes guests to the Castle grounds. Each tour covers a different part of the grounds. Be prepared to climb a lot of steps.
Below are a few pictures taken on a tour under overcast skies.
The Neptune Pool.
Columns at the Neptune Pool.
Column and ceiling detail.
Neptune Pool. Click to enlarge.
Neptune pool from above. Click to enlarge.
Ornate decorations on one of the guest "cottages".
Guest "cottage" entrance.
One of the guest bathrooms.
A guest bedroom.
Another guest bedroom.
Guest "cottage" door.
Statues in a water feature - main castle building in the background.
Entrance to the main building.
Inside that entrance.
Dining room. This must have been the inspiration for a mile-long table portrayed in Looney Toons.
Servants resting "seats" in dining room.
Dining room ceiling.
Ceiling detail (contrast stretched).
Ceiling detail in billiards room.
Panorama of the ranch seen from the Visitor Center. Castle is roughly in the middle. Click to enlarge.
Closer shot of the castle from the Visitor Center. Click to enlarge.
To all of you leaving your wonderful comments, thank you very much. They are always greatly appreciated.
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Frequently people land on this site with search queries like "what part of the eye corresponds to the camera shutter". With a camera, the shutter opens for a very precise amount of time and allows light to hit the film or sensor inside the camera. The closest comparison to that in the eye would be the eyelid that can open and close but its purpose is more analogous to that of the lens cap than the shutter. Shutter mechanisms come in a variety of configurations. More detailed information about camera shutters can be found in this article [Wikipedia].
Camera lenses also have a diaphragm iris [Wikipedia] which adjusts to increase or decrease the amount of the available light that can pass through it during any given period of time. This corresponds directly to the iris in the eye [Wikipedia] which serves the same purpose. I suspect many people confuse this with the diaphragm-type shutter mechanism, however both the eye's iris and that of the camera are visible through the lens while the shutter is generally inside the camera and out of sight. In modern cameras, the iris is usually fully open except at the moment when a picture is taken so it can be seen to move right about the same time as the shutter.